Searching for some escape from the recent dark events, I found solace by attending a Pity Sex, PWR BTTM, and Petal show at Lost Lake Lounge.
I usually stick out as the Old Guy at the Show. But in a room full of PWR BTTM fans I stuck out more than usual. The young crowd was in all forms of non-gender stereotype dress (meaning a lot of guys wearing dresses). Glitter was all around in tribute to the queer punk duo of PWR BTTM.
Starting out the show was Petal a vehicle for Kiley Lotz from Scranton, Pennsylvania. She has a revolving number of musicians that come in and out of her band. Lotz started with a ballad that shined a light on her sweet lofty voice. Lotz told the crowd she has been crying throughout the day as a reaction to the tragedies of the week. She tried to lift the mood and went into a grudge guitar frenzy that made the audience smile. They played a cover of Prince’s When You Were Mine. I was wondering if the young crowd ever heard of the song because it was a hit back in 1980. Even if the young glittery crowd didn’t recognize the tune her version was moving. You really can’t go wrong with a Prince song unless it’s Raspberry Beret “you know like the one you find in a second hand store.” Petal ended their set with Sooner with wailing guitar wizardry by Ben Walsh. The song is heart-breaking with “perpetual ache” repeated in her haunting voice.
Next was PWR BTTM. Back in April, the band opened for Ra Ra Riot (you can find the write up for that show in the vast archives of this blog). The band has changed in only a few months. They have their own instruments (last time they shared a guitar), a fancy new effects board (they are still learning to use), and a heterosexual base player (sporting glitter to match the esthetics of the band). The audience was clearly there to see them. They laughed at every joke, danced to the rhythms, and sang along to almost every song. If there is some kind of non-gender moment happening, PWR BTTM is leading the way.
Ben Hokins started the show by stating that they perform safe spaces shows. “We like to rock, but don’t violate each other spaces.” Translation – No moshing. Finally a band that is attempting to end the insanity of being body slammed.
Having a bad hair day, Ben Hopkins wearing a summer dress with some kind of plastic fringe, asked for a hat. The audience gave him a vast array of choices. Hopkins picked one with a tree and commented to the guy that gave it to him, “girl you have a small head.” The mic shocked Hopkins every time he got close to it because of his metallic make-up. Fearful of being electrocuted, he requested a sock from the crowd. A wide range of hosiery was presented to him. Hopkins placed one of the socks on the mic and the shocking discontinued.
When Liv Bruce, wearing a half shirt and cut off shorts, took over lead vocals things got a little bit weirder. During his song Dairy Queen a girl in the front row acted out the lyrics. The song is about being in a shower. So the super fan slipped on a shower cap and acted like she was taking a shower to the delight of the band.
|PWR BTTM and Kiley Lotz|
Introduced as someone who can really sing, Kiley Lotz, now sporting matching PWR BTTM glittery make-up, was brought back to the stage. She joined the band for a cover of Counting Crows’ Mr. Jones. Again I wondered if the young crowd knew the song because it was released 23 years ago.
Hopkins described writing songs in his parents’ basement while drinking wine from a coffee mug realizing he was like Bill Murray without the talent. Leading into I Wanna Boi. The crowd cheered when he sang, “I Want a boy that thinks it’s sexy when my lipstick bleeds.” When PWR BTTM left the stage, many of their energetic fans followed them and didn’t return for the headliner.
With the difficult task of going after a comedy queer punk show, Ann Arbor, Michigan emo band Pity Sex ended the night (insert your own joke here). The lighting changed to a dark dim blue and the slow lo-fi music began. Britty Drake (smooth pleasant voice) and Bennan Graves (muffled and distorted voice) exchange lyrics throughout the set. But Drake is clearly the leader of the band. Similar to Kiley Lotz, Drake expressed her sadness of the tragedies of week stating, “that she is going to bring everyone down.” After a Black Lives Matter speech, they continued to play a slow emo set.
PWR BTTM stated they would be back before the end of the year. Hopefully they will be headlining bringing fun and light into a world filled with too much darkness.
See you at the next show. I will be the one not leaving before Pity Sex.